The Limousin Region (in the center of France) has been an apple growing haven since Antiquity. Romans were the first to bring the apple tree to this plateaued region, capitalizing on the plant’s predilection for such a dry and elevated geographical setting. Thus began an uninterrupted line of apple production for over two millennia. Widespread recognition of these extraordinary apples spread in the 18th century after the Limousin Intendant at the time, Turgot, was gifted one by a farmer from the region. Turgot loved everything about the apple from its quintessential shape to its delicious taste, and he sung its praises all the way back to Paris where it gained a lasting celebrity.

Limousin apples on vine

Limousin apples on vine

Flash forward to the 1950s. The region Limousin welcomes a new variety into its abundant orchards: the American Golden. The incorporation of the Golden into the Limousine terroir is what solidified the region as the supreme French apple-growing location. The unique taste of the Golden refined by idyllic growing conditions resulted in an apple that quickly won the favor of the French people. What more, the exceptional resilience of the Golden’s seed permitted nearly year-round production, affording the fruit a constant presence at markets and stores around France. So distinguishable was this Limousin product that in 2005 it became the first ever apple to be granted the status of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).

cueillete pommes limousin

Limousin apple picking

 

Limousin apple farmers take the finest care of their fruit from the moment of harvest to the point of sale. The apples are all picked manually and washed regularly throughout handling. The highest precautions are taken to minimize any physical damage after harvest; apples are a very fragile fruit and any bruising incurred during the handling process will tarnish the final product. Afterward, Limousin apples are stored in a natural manner that takes place without any post-harvest treatment whatsoever. This is achieved by a stark drop and subsequent maintenance of temperature around 30-40°F, as well as a reduction in oxygen and an influx of carbon dioxide. Doing so effectively halts the maturation process during the given storage period, a process which will recommence automatically once the fruit is removed from this environment. In this way, producers can coordinate with distributers to ensure optimal freshness for the customers.

Cupcake_carotte_1_

Recipe Idea: Apple Carrot Cupcakes

What you will need:

  • 2 Limousin apples
  • 250g frozen carrot purée
  • 250g flour
  • 180g powdered sugar
  • 50g walnuts (crushed)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 packet of yeast
  • 1 packet of vanilla sugar (or plain sugar + vanilla)
  • 90g butter
  • 3 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 2 pinches of powdered ginger
  • 5 cl of peanut oil
  • 1 pinch of fine salt
  • Cupcake sheets

Start by thawing the carrot purée in the pan. When dry, remove from pan and leave aside. Skin the Limousin apples, hollow the cores, and dice them. Now cook them in the pan with 30g of butter and half (90g) of the powdered sugar. Melt the rest of the butter (60g). Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a mixer, place the flour, yeast, vanilla sugar, the remaining powdered sugar, the salt, ginger and carrot purée. In a bowl, mix this batter with the crushed walnuts and the melted butter. Mix until the batter is smooth and consistent. Add the eggs one by one, making sure they mix uniformly with the batter. Then, add the sugared apple bits. The batter is now ready to be placed into the cupcake sheets. Be careful not to overfill the individual sheets, as the cupcakes will expand while cooking. Allow 40 minutes at 350° F for a thorough cook.